Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Complete Transcript of 2012 Berkshire Hathaway Meeting

A one hour humorous film was shown starring Warren Buffett’s secretary (Debbie Bosanek), who has been made famous by the “Buffett Rule” which is based on Bosanek paying a higher tax rate than Buffett.  In the skit, Buffett is forced to take phone calls for Bosanek (including calls from Oprah Winfrey and President Obama), while Bosanek keeps talking on personal calls.  The movie also featured an animated cartoon of the national championship football game between the University of Nebraska and the all-robot team from the University of Washington.  The Nebraska team is coached by the legendary Tom Osborne, while the Washington team is coached by Herman Cain (who has strong ties to Omaha’s Godfather’s Pizza Chain).  The game is being broadcast by Marv Albert.  At half time, with Nebraska trailing 7-0, and many Nebraska players having been injured during the first half, Buffett prevails on Coach Osborne to put him in at quarterback.  Buffett argues:  “I have some good ideas”.  In the final play, Buffett throws a long pass to his vice chairman, Charlie Munger, who tips the ball to the Geico gecko in the end zone to win the game.
Warren Buffett (age 81) and Charlie Munger (age 88) then walk on the stage and sit down.  The format for asking questions was similar to the last three annual meetings.  One-third of the questions were selected by three business journalists:  Andrew Ross Sorkin (The New York Times and CNBC), Becky Quick (CNBC) and Carol Loomis (Fortune).  Shareholders had e-mailed over 2,000 questions to the journalists, who then selected 20 questions relating to Berkshire and its operations.  The journalists who were seated on the stage, alternated with three insurance industry analysts (Cliff Gallant – KBW, Jay Gelb – Barclays, and Gary Ransom – Dowling & Partners), and with shareholders in the audience in the asking of questions.

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